Transfer out of WCCUSD to AUSD or BUSD

Hello! We are trying to figure out my sons schooling (he will be entering Kindergarten in 2-3 years) and are wondering if a district transfer from WCCUSD to AUSD or BUSD is a possibility. I saw some previous posts about people wanting to transfer in high school but am curious about elementary school/middle school. If one applies, is it safe to assume that the transfer will be approved? And if it is approved, do you have to re apply every year, with the chance that it may not be re-approved? Any experience people have with this and that they would be willing to share would be really appreciated! We are trying to figure out if we want to stay in the area, or sell and move- and schools are playing into the decision. Thank you! 

Parent Replies

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You'll want to start by reviewing the eligible reasons you can request an inter-district transfer. The most common reason for elementary is that a parent works in the other city and needs to be able to pick the child up there, or that your childcare is located in the other city. You'll need to submit proof of whichever situation applies. You can also try requesting a transfer based on access to a specific program (e.g., language immersion), but you typically have to show that your home district does not offer the program at any of their schools. I can't immediately think of anything that meets that criteria at the elementary level in BUSD or AUSD, but there may be something. Once transfers are approved, they're usually re-approved each year that your child is at the same school--then you'd have to apply again when transitioning to the next level of schooling (i.e., middle).

You are worrying about this way too early. The written policies never change but the way they are applied definitely changes year to year. In general, you have to have a legitimate reason for requesting a release from your home district (before you request a transfer INTO another district) such as sibling attendance, continuation, academic program offered that's not available in the home district, or parent works in the other district/area. The middle two won't apply for someone entering K. (And it sounds like this is your eldest, so the first one won't apply) So you have a couple years for one parent to get employed in your desired transfer area. Even then, it's not a guarantee the release will be approved but it's a solid chance.

Acceptance into the receiving district varies by current enrollment. No real way to know today how full they will be in 2-3 years.

Over the last few years it has been very difficult to get approval from WCCUSD to "release" kids, since they are paid per student. This is anecdotal, but will be the first hurdle to a transfer. That being said, we have been happy with WCCUSD for K and 1st!

Two of the responses are not giving accurate information. I am a WCCUSD-residing parent with a student on a legal interdistrict transfer to AUSD that was approved in 2020 for the school year starting 20-21. There was zero problem getting released from WCCUSD because we had a legitimate reason and checked the right box. We do not have to "reapply" each year, including the recent year where my student moved up to a new AUSD school. You simply have to return a piece of paper annually to each district that says you want to continue the transfer. They send you the form, you return it. No complaints about either district's process; they both follow the rules as laid out in Ed Code.

As long as you meet one of the listed criteria, WCCUSD will approve the transfer out of the district. The approval letter clearly explains this is for the following school year only and you have to reapply every year (the application has a box for new applicant and one for renewal). For the transfer in part, each school district has their own criteria and priorities. However, you likely won't get to choose the elementary or middle school. They can assign you whichever school has opening, if there is opening at all. At the high school level, Berkeley high is popular among Oakland residents and kids often would find out late in the summer or even after school begins in the fall.

My son was also approved for an intra-district transfer from WCCUSD to AUSD in 2020 -2021 and I know of 3 other families who were also approved during this time. I think during the pandemic it was much easier to get approved. My reason for requesting transfer was that our assigned WCCUSD school was identified for program improvement. Once you're granted a transfer, you're basically guaranteed renewal but you DO have to reapply for the permit every February as a formality.  This year it seems it is much more difficult to get released from WCCUSD. I know of 3 families who applied for transfer based on "parent preference", they even filed appeals but were ultimately all denied release. AUSD is currently accepting transfer students in all grades but WCCUSD will not release you unless you have a very specific reason. (ie: work in Albany, childcare in Albany, sibling attending, specific program, continuing student). 

  I also know many families who love their neighborhood WCCUSD schools, either way I'm sure you'll be able to find a happy solution.